The motivation is there, the intention is set, and yet the starting line seems to be missing.
This is what happens to so many when the decision is made to get healthy. We know that we should eat more vegetables, should skip the meat, and should focus instead on eating whole grains, healthy fats and a wide range of fresh produce. But HOW exactly do you do this?
The only things that come mind when the dinner hour is approaching is your mom’s favorite pasta and tomato sauce recipe, or your family’s famous cheesy broccoli casserole dish. Or if the timing is right, a nice juicy, grilled steak with a boxed rice medley, and pre-made coleslaw. Or if we’re really busy, the frozen meal in the freezer, or our go-to take-out Chinese or pizza place down the street.
We are so ingrained in our food routines that we cannot even think out side of our own little box, filled with unhealthy food choices. What does a “healthy” meal really look like? Is it just steamed broccoli and an unseasoned piece of fish? And even if so, do I want to eat that? Also, if I do decide to go for it, how am I to shop for it, and cook it at home when there are a million other things that are going on…
These are the thoughts and questions that arise as soon as the decision to “eat healthy” comes up, so I am here to rescue you from yourself.
First off, no. Bland steamed veggies and unseasoned fish NEVER has to be on the menu. There are countless outrageously delicious healthy meals that are plant-based, vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free. You do not, and I hope that you WILL never, eat an unsatisfying, lackluster healthy meal. And why? It’s simple – because you don’t have to. With the help of hundreds of talented chefs, cookbook authors and food bloggers out there, you will never feel deprived eating healthy again. I will even guarantee that you will enjoy it, and it will in fact surprise you just how much you LOVE eating healthy after all. Big lofty claims? I am willing to back it up.
I am going to arm you with the tools you need to make this healthy eating dream scenario happen in real life. So if you are just embarking on your healthy eating journey, here is the starting line. Five easy healthy meals for the week. I have chosen a few of my favorites that are simple to make, easy to shop for, healthy for the body, and most importantly, delicious to eat. No moaning, no deprivation, no stomping of feet, no rumbling bellies, simply good tasting, nutritious meals for the week.
Head on over to these easy healthy recipes from a few of my favorite food bloggers. Bookmark these websites, save them for later exploration, and get motivated. You can do this. The road ahead is bright and filled with endless soul satisfying meals, you just have to take the first step!
5 Easy Healthy Meals for the Week
Tucked beneath a very convincing ice cream-like flavor, a wealth of beneficial spinach awaits you in this smoothie. It’s so good it almost makes a person wonder why spinach isn’t used in all minty treats. I love how the cacao nibs provide a bit of dark-chocolate crunch without being overpowering. This is the perfect way to start a morning. Get in all of your greens and superfoods while on-the-go, and feel the effects of real nutrition through countless hours of high energy, and overall feel good vibes.
Hands down this is one of my favorite go-to recipes that can easily be whipped up in about 45 minutes. Being Italian I always have a major hankering for meatballs, which is why I gravitate towards this recipe. You will never be able to tell it is made without meat, especially once you slather on the oh-too-decadent lemon pesto. Add to a bowl of quinoa pasta noodles, or go carb-less with baked spaghetti squash or even zucchini or kelp noodles. Or… if you are like me, eat a whole bowl with nothing else at all. Pure heaven indeed and a great way to start your plant-based meal adventure.
I just made this salad the other day and loved it so much I made it again and again… and again (yes, three “agains.”) I literally ate this salad all week, throwing in an extra egg one night, and a piece of wild salmon another night. Could not get enough. The best part is that you most likely have all the ingredients on hand, putting the grocery shopping out of the equation. This recipe makes quite a bit too, so you can plan on eating it for lunch the next day, or even breakfast by scrambling it with an egg or two. The variations are endless, plus you are eating kale… Done and done.
There’s nothing like a good taco to ring in the summer… or spring. Fresh lime, chopped cilantro, crunchy cabbage and avocado, all wrapped up in a warm organic corn tortilla. Docker it up as you like, and be pleasantly surprised by the extra splash of Tequila… really puts the extra element of surprise and party into this dish. I also love to make extra of all the stuffings and toppings to use for a taco salad the next day. Or perhaps even a breakfast taco or Mexican scramble in the am… the dish that keeps on giving.
I’m pretty sure that if you asked most people what one of their favorite foods were, sandwiches would come up nine times out of ten. Its the perfect combination of all the things you love – crunchy veggies, creamy dips and spreads, and hints of saltiness balanced by sweet notes and surprises of spiciness. The layering of flavors that all come together in unison to create this explosion of flavor, just like in this genius creation from Faring Well. There’s a new spin on tzatziki, by making it from sunflower seeds, but if time is not on your side, an organic pre-made version can also be a helpful substitute. This sandwich can also be made gluten-free by wrapping it in GF bread or tortilla, or one of my favorite versions, with a large collard green leaf. Not only a dreamy lunch, but a perfectly acceptable healthy dinner too.
Now that you are ready to go with your 5 easy healthy meals for the week, print out this handy dandy shopping list I’ve compiled for you. It might look long, but check the ingredients. Many of them are probably already lying around in your kitchen, like salt… and pepper.
5 Easy Healthy Meals for the Week Shopping Guide
Mint Chip Smoothie Recipe
2 cups frozen spinach
2 cups frozen bananas
¼ cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh mint leaves, minced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rice milk (original variety)
½ cup coconut water
Lentil “Meatball” and Lemon Pesto Recipe
2 cups canned cooked lentils, or 1 cup raw lentil
3/4 cup ricotta, organic
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, organic
2 large clove garlic
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
hefty pinch of dried or fresh thyme
1 tsp. each sea salt and pepper
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or panko, preferably)* can get GF variation
1/4 cup pinenuts
1 Meyer lemon (regular lemon is alternative)
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 – 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
optional: Quinoa Pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini for noodles, or kelp noodles
Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Recipe
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp tahini
1 tsp dijon mustard
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
salt + pepper
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
2 tsp lemon zest (1 fresh lemon)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup cooked chickpeas (look for a BPA-free can like Eden Foods)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 bunches lacinato/dino kale, (I used the ribs and all)
1/2 lb brussels sprouts
1/4 head of green cabbage
Tequila Lime Tacos Recipe
2 big fillets of tilapia (or 3 smaller ones)
splash of olive oil
splash of tequila
a drizzle of agave syrup or honey
1 clove garlic, chopped
zest of 1 lime (you’ll use the juice later)
a few pinches of chile powder
sea salt & pepper
½ a red onion, thinly sliced
splash of rice vinegar
a few pinches of sea salt
6 corn or flour tortillas, grilled
creme fraiche, sour cream, or (my personal choice this time), kewpie mayo.
shredded cabbage, seasoned with a little salt & lime juice
extra lime slices
Veggie Sandwich Recipe
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
few dashes of pepper
2 heaping tablespoons fresh dill
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced cucumber
2 golden beets
salt & pepper
sumac for dusting
2 medium avocados
organic whole wheat bread (or GF)*
*GF options include collard greens, corn or brown rice tortilla, or gluten-free bread
If you find this series helpful, let me know by leaving a comment below. I’d be more than happy to keep posting these for regular inspiration.
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